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The Black Box

I had a conversation with my older sister about moving out for college, and I worried about the amount of guilt I’ll feel leaving home. She resonated with me, feeling the exact same way for leaving our parents.

"Our parents came to America with a black box over their heads," she told me. For the twenty years my parents have lived here, they’ve only known what their friends and newspaper rankings had told them. Other than that, they’ve continued to stick with their traditional norms — staying close by to take care of our family the way they’ve taken care of you.

My parents ultimately refused to adapt to the western expectation, something that I had always dreamed of changing one day for them. While I still haven’t been successful, my sister and I work our hardest. Moving to SoCal, and being stubborn about accepting my offer at a university a ten-hour drive away from home was my attempt at doing so, just so they know I’m going to grow up to be successful. I needed a new network of people, and being restricted to a thirty mile radius from home is not going to let me have that.

My sister is renowned in our family as the “strong-willed” sibling, and I, the “yielding” one. However, now is the time for me to be bold and put myself first, without feeling so ashamed of who I want to be. It was time they understood that there are so many other opportunities for me to grow outside of Sacramento, and that when in doubt, there will always be a choice — a new hobby, career, a new partner, a new different perspective.

The famous line, “The Universe Is So Much Bigger Than You Realize” from Alpha Waymond embodies what I wanted my parents to have, that is just a simple understanding of how big the world can be for just their reluctance to grow, and that’s what I want to be for my parents.

I want them to trust me: to know that I will one day repay their debts for having me and make some use of a degree they looked online to make $40,000 in California. I want them to see that I am brave and capable of navigating my way to a goal. I want them to be understanding, and I want them to support me.

My life is only going to get bigger, and letting my parents grow with me is the only way they’ll know how big the opportunities in the world are. They are bigger than what their fears and comfort zone reduce them to, and I can only make the world a bigger place if I am given the space to.

Editor: Chris F.


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